Konaseema comes alive with ‘Prabhala Utsavam’

Gangalakurru Agraharam Prabha being taken out in a stream in Konaseema on Tuesday.

Gangalakurru Agraharam Prabha being taken out in a stream in Konaseema on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: S_RAMBABU


The one on Ekadasa Rudra cynosure of all eyes

The 400-year-old tradition of taking out ‘prabhalu,’ flowery replicas of religious idols mostly of Lord Siva built with bamboo frames and decorated with colour papers and lights, was observed by 150 villages in the lush green Konaseema area on Tuesday.

Besides villagers from 16 mandals, NRIs also enthusiastically took part in ‘Prabhala Utsavam’. This year, the locals invited their friends from Telangana to witness the vivacious fete.

The ‘Agraharam’ culture is still alive in some villages in Konaseema, from where the ‘prabhalu’ will be taken out in a massive procession in which people from every house irrespective of caste, creed and religion will participate. The interesting point is that every year there will be a tough competition among the villages over the height of the prabha (arch).

This is in addition to the cockfights and special decorations to temples. The fete is on the lines of the one held at Kotappakonda in Guntur district. But unlike in Kotappakonda, the event here is held on ‘Kanuma’, third day of the four-day Sankranti festivities.

A few archives in the Rajamahendravaram Gowthami Regional Library indicate that the Pithapuram king’s advisor Vittal Jakkanna had started the tradition to bring unity among people.

Age-old tradition

These decorated pieces from different agraharams, villages and colonies converge at places like Jagganna Thota, once called Vittal Jakkanna thota, Gangalakurru, Mosalapalli, Vakkalanka, K. Pedapudi, Irusumanda, Nedunuru, Mukkamala, Palagummi, Kulletikurru, Gangalakurru Agraharam and Vyaghreswaram.

The height of the prabhas is the main attraction — this year it was the 51-ft Tondavaram Todeswaraswami Prabha followed by the 47-ft one brought from Vakalagaruvu.

One should not miss the way the processions are taken out. Crackers from the famous Vetlapalem will be burst throughout the procession. The festival is popular only in areas such as Kothapeta, Ambajipeta and Jagganna Thota. Gunnepalli Agraharam, Vyaghreswaram, Mukkamala, Pulletikurru, Irusumanda, Gangalakurru and Gangalakurthi Agraharam villages brought the Prabhalu.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:50:25 AM |

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